See you later Christchurch

7.13am (that’s 5.13am for you folks in the Barossa! ), Wednesday 18th July, Gate 17, Christchurch Airport, South Island, New Zealand

Morning folks, and I’ve had to put on my thermal Canterbury Crusaders “this is as close as I’ll ever get to Richie McCaw (for folks not from NZ – he is extremely charismatic and very attractive probably soon to be knighted captain of the NZ rugby team the All Blacks who won the world rugby cup last year) undershirt, because it’s right back to a chilly Billy minus 3 degrees out there right now.

I’ve made my way through the still under construction section of the airport – even more things you can do with old shipping containers when you remove the ends and join them together…….corridors! You have to take your hat off to Kiwi ingenuity! I’ve seen stacks of it here in Christchurch over the last 3 days. And just to finish off my news from this part of “the land of the long white cloud”, here’s the 3 other things that we did of some serious “goodwill tour” note….

The VINO FINO consumer tasting and singalong Samuel Smith founder of Yalumba 200th Birthday celebrations.

OK – for some reason the photos won’t lift, so I’ll add them all at the bottom later! We had 60 people come out to Vino Fino last night to see what we’ve been up to at Yalumba of late, and we started the evening with a rollicking version of Happy Birthday – complete with whistles and party poppers, and slices of carrot cake that Bruce’s wife Sharon made, pear and chocolate tart from Sweet Kitchen, and chocolate mud cake from the Aorangi Bakery. The wine lineup was really performing well across the board, so I enjoyed immensely the debut – in this arena – of the 2011 Y Vermentino, the 2010 Strapper Grenache Shiraz Mataro, the 2009 Cigar Coonawarra Cabernet, 2010 Patchwork Barossa Shiraz (arriving next week), the big wall of complex fruit 2008 Signature Cabernet Shiraz (also due next week), and just because we could, and Vino Fino have been such a staunch Yalumba house for ever……we opened the ‘barrel selection only made in a great vintage year of parcels of Cabernet and Shiraz originally destined for Signature”…..2004 The Reserve – which is soon to be released in New Zealand. There were a lot of oohs and aahs of delight over this particular 3/4 Cab 1/4 Shiraz old ‘claret’ style hero! Should have it’s own set of Batmanesque body armor cape and tights really………it’s dark, it’s muscular, it’s as smooth as silk, and is completely in it’s primary fruit stage with both big red grape variety fruit propellors just sitting there idling gracefully. We liked it!

Thanks Rex, thanks Vino Fino, thanks Ju and Bruce, thanks Sharon…….and thanks a million To the Vino Fino Yalumba faithful – you know who you are!! See ya when it’s next year.


That’s Rex with the cake….and here’s the wine lineup from the night


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